Radian Group has launched a new tenant portal, MyRadian, based on Hallnet’s Active Housing software.
Who is Radian Group?
Radian Group is one of the largest housing providers in the South of England. In November 2019, it formed a new partnership with Yarlington Housing Group with the aim to deliver even more for its customers by providing more homes, building stronger communities and transforming its services.
The partnership between Radian and Yarlington Housing created a new organisation with over 39,000 homes and assets, 1,350 staff members, 79,000 customers and a combined asset register worth £6 billion.
Prior to the partnership, Radian was already a digitally-minded organisation, with strong in-house IT and web development capabilities, having built its own tenant portal and integration middleware layer.
In recent years, Yarlington has been considered one of the UK’s leading digital landlords after its successful MyYarlington portal project was awarded ‘Digital Landlord of the Year’ at the UK Housing Awards in 2019. It is therefore no surprise that online self-service functionality was high on the agenda during partnership talks between the two organisations.
As an existing partner to Yarlington Housing, Active Housing was invited to discussions between the two housing providers early in the process. Active Housing helped to establish a strong digital roadmap by leveraging Radian’s in-house capabilities alongside Yarlington Housing’s highly successful digital strategy and the latest Active Housing products.
It was decided that the two organisation’s vision around customer self-service would be delivered in a number of phases, so that certain areas could be addressed quickly and changes could be easily accommodated as the partnership talks progressed.
The first phase of the project was to replace the in-house MyRadian portal, which covered Radian’s 25,000 properties, with Active Housing’s Active Portal in addition to Active Housing’s repairs reporting and permission request modules.
Both organisations wanted to use an agile delivery methodology so that both organisations had full visibility of the project delivery and allowed for changing requirements. The portal was delivered in fortnightly sprints, giving Radian the ability to test and perform engagement throughout the delivery with key stakeholders and end-users. Daily stand-ups and show-and-tells were also used to ensure good communications between the project teams.
Challenges to be overcome
The main aim of replacing the MyRadian portal was to bring the Radian offering more in line with the MyYarlington portal as fast as possible. This presented some challenges because the MyYarlington portal was developed and continually improved over a number of years and had functionality and logic very specific to Yarlington.
This challenge was overcome by using Active Housing’s flexible customer portal product, Active Portal, in conjunction with its Active Diagnostics module for repairs reporting and the Active Requests module for permission requests.
Given the success of MyYarlington, a number of features in it had already been added to newer versions of Active Portal. This provided a solid foundation for the first phase of the project. Any features that hadn’t already been accommodated were analysed through the data available and either implemented or placed in a backlog for a future phase.
Coronavirus and the lockdown
When project discussions began, a worldwide pandemic was obviously not expected. As the first phase started amid growing concerns about coronavirus, an onsite kick-off meeting took place in late March 2020, and the next day the UK was thrust into lockdown.
With both organisations’ project teams working from home, the pandemic was immediately top of the project risk register. Although a pandemic might have allowed leeway with delivery deadlines, the MyRadian portal was instead increasingly seen as an absolute priority because it offered Radian an enhanced way to communicate with tenants without the need for face-to-face contact. As the delivery deadlines remained unchanged, this posed a challenge to all teams.
Video conferencing and messaging technologies such as Teams, Hangouts and Zoom were used and strengthened by an agile delivery methodology. Aside from a few teething issues with remote working and a challenging few weeks before the launch, Active Housing and the housing providers’ teams pulled together to perform incredibly well under exceptional circumstances in order to deliver on time.
The new MyRadian portal is a significant leap in online self-service functionality for Radian tenants. Some of the key features tenants benefit from include the ability to:
- Register and login;
- Select and manage privacy settings;
- Manage multiple tenancies from one account;
- View account balance and statements;
- View and update tenancy and household information;
- View and update personal and contact information;
- Make a payment (including guest payments);
- Diagnose a repair and select an appointment;
- Track upcoming repairs, with the ability to cancel and reschedule;
- Review completed repairs and provide feedback;
- Request permissions (e.g. pets) with instant outcomes;
- Review permission requests;
- Use accessibility features via BrowseAloud;
- Chat to Radian staff member via live chat.
Staff and administrators have also benefited greatly from the new portal; the portal’s powerful content management system enables them to:
- Manage registered users;
- Add, edit and manage on-page content;
- Add, edit and manage repairs diagnostics scripts;
- Manage repairs reporting logic and business rules;
- Add, edit and manage permission request scripts;
- Set global and page notifications.
Success so far…
MyRadian launched on 01 July 2020, just 67 days after the project started. The portal gained over 5,000 registered users in just the first four weeks of live operation, with over 40,000 logins and almost 50 per cent of total repairs reported online.
For further information, please call Active Housing (Hallnet) on 0800 023 9024 or visit www.activehousing.co.uk.